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Swampfox Raider 1x20 Micro Prism Field Test – RANGE-TESTED!

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What red dot sight has all the benefits of a red dot sight without the drawbacks of a red dot sight?

The Swampfox Raider 1x Micro Prism red dot sight.

As a prism red dot with no magnification, a 24/7-ready reticle, and battery-free operation, it fits the tongue twisting riddle to a tee.

Swampfox Raider mounted to ar 1522
Image by Tina Fa'apoi (Own Work) for Target Tamers

I’ve been field testing the Raider red dot to experience for myself its illumination intensity, reticle visibility, compatibility with other optics, and more.

In my Swampfox Raider review, I also include my epiphany-like realization that completely changed the way I will forever see Swampfox bikini caps.

Based on the Raider’s prismatic design, it could inherently be better than a red dot (reflex sight) and the absolute best of 1x prism sights. Here’s why.

Quick Overview...

What I Like: Prism sight

What I Don’t Like: No knurling on diopter

Best Uses: Hunting, Target Shooting, CQB, Small to Heavy Caliber Rifles, Red Dot Sight, Prism Sight, Astigmatism, Battery-Free Operation

  • Magnification: 1x
  • Coatings: FMC
  • Eye Relief: 3.54”
  • Reticle: CQB BRC
  • Adjustments: 1 MOA
  • Battery Life: 35,000 hours
  • Dimensions: 2.56 x 2.05 x 2.3” / 7.69 oz
  • Mount: Lower 1/3 co-witness & low-profile mounts

My Verdict: The Swampfox Raider is a by-the-book optic to mount, manipulate, and use. It’s so easy that I’m left wondering where it’s been my whole life. There’s little to fuss over as a negative. In my opinion, the Raider is a hardcore prism sight that’s a workhorse of a red dot in its own right.

Why Trust Me?

After hundreds of hours of hand-testing red dot sights at the range and sometimes in the hunt, and thousands more hours researching, writing, photographing and creating videos about them, I feel I have earned the title of expert when it comes to optics!

Optics are not just my passion, but also my full-time job!

I get my hands on as many of the optics I test as possible (through buying, borrowing or begging!) and run them through their paces to make sure they will perform out in field.

Check out our optics testing process here.

Over a decade of experience plinking, target shooting, hunting, mounting my own sights and scopes, and trouble shooting myself has been integral in putting together this Swampfox Raider 1x20 Micro Prism review.

Who is the Swampfox Raider 1x20 Best Suited to?

Raider mounted to AR
Image by Tina Fa'apoi (Own Work) for Target Tamers

The Swampfox Raider is a red dot sight but different to the run-of-the-mill reflex sight we all default to in thought. Even so, with a prism optical system, the Raider has all the benefits of a red dot without the disadvantages.

Said disadvantages would be battery dependence, limited BDC reticle options, and a projected reticle reflection that doesn’t play nice with astigmatism. The Raider is operable without a power source, has a BRC reticle, and the laser-etched reticle can be easier for astigmatic eyes to use.

Another nice thing about the Raider is that it competes with reflex red dots in that it doesn’t have magnification, it’s still incredibly useful for CQB ranges, and it’s just as compact.

One downside is that it’s more expensive than your standard reflex sight, but you do pay more for prism scopes in general. The Raider is priced competitively with alternatives like the Vortex Spitfire and the Primary Arms SLx MicroPrism.

So, when deciding between the Swampfox prism sight and its fiercest competition, I’d say there are a few compelling features that gives it to the Raider. It’s compatible with a magnifier, the BRC reticle is huge and felicitous to close range use, and it has a T2 footprint for compatibility with aftermarket mounting options.

The Swampfox Raider is best suited to those who want red dot performance in a red dot sized package that’s friendly to astigmatic eyes and can easily be put on a different mount for whatever reason. So, pretty much everyone? Yep.

How Does the Swampfox Raider 1x20 Perform?

BRC reticle on lizard - Image by Tina Fa'apoi (Own Work) for Target Tamers

Overall, the Swampfox Raider Micro Prism has it all from FMC to exterior lens protection coatings. The glass is clear with natural color fidelity. The chevron is indisputably sharp. As a red dot ideal for AR-15 and similar platforms, the Raider’s strong suit is close quarters.

Technically with 1x magnification, you should be able to get an unlimited FOV and unlimited eye relief. Though both are true, you should know that on paper the stated FOV is 70 ft with eye relief of 3.54”. Off paper and in real life, I can mount the Raider anywhere on the rail, keep both eyes open, and see that reticle on my target without issue.  

The only time I start to get shadows in my sight picture is when the red dot is pretty far away, at like, arm’s length kind of far away. Only the reticle is visible at that point and any head movement outside of the now extremely shrunken sight picture will cause a loss of said reticle. But… no one is running their red dot that far down the rail, right? I did mount the Raider to the end of the receiver though, and guess what, eye relief is just fine there too.

Swampfox Raider with BUIS
Image by Tina Fa'apoi (Own Work) for Target Tamers

Pre-installed on the Raider is a 1.6” skeletonized mount which does provide a lower 1/3 co-witness with BUIS. Since the Raider has an etched reticle, there’s not really a need to run BUIS unless you destroy it.

Given its die-cast zinc alloy housing and what appears to be Swampfox running over it (or another one of the red dots) with a vehicle and setting it on fire, it doesn’t appear that that’s likely to happen. I think the Raider is good on durability and you won’t have to worry about it failing any time soon under normal use.

Sighting in the Raider is as easy as sighting in any other red dot sight. The turrets are exposed and oversized. Adjustments are 1 MOA, and the clicks are positive and crisp although maybe a little too easy to move. I accidentally made more clicks than I intended more than a few times.

I zeroed for the recommended 50 yards and got to work confirming holdovers. With the CQB BRC reticle that is outstandingly appropriate for close-range, I found it incredibly gratifying to hit paper and steel. I also gave it a run with thermal on the rail just because I wanted to.  

I highly recommend the Swampfox Raider prism sight for some hunting, home defense, target shooting, pests, plinking – anything really. It’s tough, made for CQB, the reticle is always visible, and there’s not a whole lot of downsides to it.

Features & Benefits

Prism Sight

Swampfox raider prism sight
Image by Tina Fa'apoi (Own Work) for Target Tamers

The Swampfox Raider is a red dot sight. It’s different to reflex red dots like the Sig Sauer Romeo 5 and the Vortex Crossfire II because it’s a prism sight. The Raider has an optical system constructed with a prism. With this design, it provides a few more advantages over the reflex red dot.

One major benefit is that it can be more compatible for astigmatism and refractive error conditions. A reticle is laser-etched onto a lens thus providing for the need of a diopter. Having an adjustable eyepiece and a physical reticle can be the significant difference in choosing the right red dot sight for you.

Another benefit is that there are more reticle options in prism sights versus the dot in most red dot sights. The Raider has the BRC reticle that’s calibrated for extremely close-range use, but there’s also the 6 MOA dot version too.

Some prism sights offer 1.5x, 3x, and 5x magnification. The Raider has 1x magnification, so it’s a non-magnifying prism sight that competes with non-magnified reflex red dots. Not everyone wants magnification, so the Raider caters to that crowd.

Last but not least, all red dots have illumination but not all red dots can operate without it. Reflex red dots must have a power source to operate. When the battery dies or fails, so does your primary aiming system. With the Swampfox Raider, when the battery dies, you still have a black reticle in your sights.

BRC Reticle

Swampfox Raider BRC reticle
Image by Tina Fa'apoi (Own Work) for Target Tamers

Swampfox’s BRC (Bullet Rise Compensating) reticle is interesting. It’s specifically designed for CQB with a 50/200-yard zero and height-over-bore holdovers for 5, 10, and 15 yards. They say it’s compatible with calibers from .22LR to .308.

I like the chevron, it’s sharp and easy to use. The huge circle does its job to draw the eyes and get it on target quickly. The bottom of the chevron is for a 15-yard holdover while the subsequent 6 MOA dots are for 10 and 5 yards.

After I sighted in the Raider for 50 yards with .22LR rounds, I put up steel at my zero distance and 25 yards (I forgot about the 15-yard holdover). Paper targets went up at 10 and 5 yards. Expecting to be on point for four target distances, I shot standing, kneeling, and sitting. The sounds of .22s hitting steel and paper filled the silence of the woods and my happy heart.

Of course, the height-over-bore holdovers are accurate. I expected nothing less. What I wanted to know is how beneficial they are in this capacity. At rapid fire, it was very easy to move between the various aiming points of the reticle. What makes it a seamless experience is that the dots are large, so they’re exceptionally fast and easy to acquire.

Honestly though, at those closer distances in a defense situation, you’re probably just shooting, and those bullets are going to hit somewhere. Still, there’s no denying that the BRC reticle is exceptionally appropriate for CQB.

It’s huge, specifically calibrated for close-range, and the chevron provides a precise aiming point for those looking to get maximum accuracy out of it.

What I like most about the BRC is that it’s enormous. There are no visibility issues with this reticle as the ring is 102 MOA wide. There’s no ‘hunting’ for the BRC as it’s ‘in your face’ kind of big. I’m lovin’ it.

Illumination & Night Vision

I’m very impressed with the illumination. With the intensity differences, there’s a setting that’s appropriate for any condition. Max brightness is daylight bright. The dim settings are definitely faint enough to be used without washout or starbursting in lowlight and dark conditions.

There are 10 brightness settings in total. Max illumination has been ideal for normal outdoor conditions during my field test. Even during the day, I find that I don’t always need the illumination. The black is extremely visible.

On that note, the fact that the reticle is glass-etched with a black color gives the Raider inherent benefits over a reflex red dot. You don’t need to depend on a power source for usability and readiness. The BRC reticle will always be visible with or without illumination.

The dimmest illumination settings, so 1 and 2, are night vision compatible. You can’t see it in daylight conditions at all. In black-out conditions, I can just barely make out setting 2, but I can’t detect setting 1 with the naked eye.

Swampfox Raider and night vision
Green-on-green (left & right). Black-on-green (setting 1 - center) - Image by Tina Fa'apoi (Own Work) for Target Tamers

I tested the night vision illumination compatibility with Gen 1 night vision. I think I was on setting 1 and that showed up as a black reticle through the NVD. Though the pics don’t nearly do it justice, I could clearly see the BRC reticle.

I bumped up the brightness to setting 2 for a green-on-green display. The illuminated reticle did make it a bit harder to see against the green FOV, but it’s visible.  At the end of the day, the Raider works with night vision!

Battery Life & Shake N’ Wake

Swampfox Raider battery
Image by Tina Fa'apoi (Own Work) for Target Tamers

Some of the best reflex red dot sights have the longest battery runtimes in the industry. Some last up to five years on a single CR2032 – that’s like 50,000 hours. The Raider doesn’t quite max out at 50,000 hours, but it competes very well with an operating runtime up to 35,000 hours.

Compared to alternative prism scopes, that’s a pretty good battery life. Though you can manually turn off the illumination to conserve battery runtime, the Raider has Shake N’ Wake technology to do that for you.

The Shake N’ Wake works as expected. I timed it more than once and got approximately 3 minutes and 53 seconds before it automatically turns off. A slight nudge to the Raider turns it on again.

The battery compartment knob is physically located on the left. Some people won’t like this, but I personally do. The windage turret is raised (protruding from the body), and it’s oversized. I like oversized, and clearly there’s not enough room for both an oversized windage turret and a battery compartment knob on the right side, so “to the left, to the left” it goes.

I think it’s a good move not to cram all these moving parts so close together. You might not like it because it’s basically in your FOV. If you’re running two eyes open, it ‘disappears,’ so I really don’t mind.

Another point you might want to consider is it’s a little bulky protruding out to the side like that. It can rub up against your vest or other gear that you may have on your chest. Boobies don’t count.


Swampfox raider t2 footprint
Image by Tina Fa'apoi (Own Work) for Target Tamers

The Swampfox Raider prism sight has a T2 (Aimpoint) footprint that is widely popular. This means there are several aftermarket mounts that the Raider is compatible with if you want different heights, quick release, or other features.

To prove this point, I took the quick release mount off the STNGR Axiom II with the same footprint and put it on the Raider. It fit flush and tight, and of course the quick detach feature makes it a breeze to get on and off.

The pre-installed 1.6” mount feels solid and beefy. I really like the fat T25 Torx crossbolts of which there are two. The base mounting screws are small T10 and torqued to 15 in-lbs. I also mounted the included 1.1” low-profile mount and put it on a Ruger 10/22.

Swampfox also has a 1.9” mount that’s compatible with the Raider, but that’s a separate and optional purchase. You could need that sort of height if you’re running other accessories on your rifle that would normally get in the way of your FOV.

SF raider mounts and tools
Included mounts & tools - Image by Tina Fa'apoi (Own Work) for Target Tamers

Overall, the mount is solid and the huge crossbolts make for secure recoil lugs. The skeletonized machining gives it an open and slimming profile. Without it, I think the mount would look and feel unnecessarily bulky. It’s held up during recoil and several remounts, and it’s beefier than standard red dot mounts in my opinion.

Use with Other Optics

SF raider and the Juliet magnifier
Swampfox Raider & Sig Sauer Juliet 3-Micro - Image by Tina Fa'apoi (Own Work) for Target Tamers

Does the Raider play nice with other optics? A magnifier and thermal? I knew from the get-go that I wanted to test these types of optics with the Swampfox Raider 1x prism sight.

Usually, you wouldn’t pair a magnifier with a prism sight, but since the Raider has 1x power, you should be able to. How did it do?

I had no issues getting a good sight picture between the two optics. I did a little finagling with the diopters to get a clear image, but once I had that, clarity was good. That little bit of magnification sure helps with target identification and getting a bigger sight picture at and beyond 50 yards.

Out of the box, the Juliet 3-Micro is short for the 1.6” height of the Raider. However, the Sig magnifier comes with a spacer to get it taller for a 1.6” height. I added it to the Juliet’s mounting system and got perfect alignment between it and the Raider.

Secondly, I wanted to add thermal to the testing process. Why? Because I could. I mounted my AGM Asp-Micro to the rail and snuggled it right up against the Raider’s objective lens. There’s a very good reason for this up-close-and-personal mounting: I can get a decent image through both optics without needing a magnifier to make the thermal display bigger.  

Because of my makeshift mount, there is a height difference between the Raider and the thermal. I can’t account for this difference, so it was just casual plinking for me.

This thermal setup is definitely rigged together. It’s not a real setup that I’d recommend for any sort of serious work. However, it was loads of fun to do a bit of shooting with it.

Included Accessories (& Epiphany!)

SF Raider whats in the box
What's in the box? Image by Tina Fa'apoi (Own Work) for Target Tamers

A kill flash (anti-reflective device) is included, and for me, it was the perfect attachment to keep the lens clean of my fingerprints. For everyone else using it for its intended purpose, it does its job well and definitely prevented glare downrange and reflections behind the eyepiece.

The S-wing wrench will be needed. I found that the ‘wings’ are perfectly sized for the turret adjustments. If you have a big, fat flathead on hand, it’ll work but the included tool really is the easiest way to make adjustments as it’s a perfect fit for the slots.

Pre epiphany…

I really like that the bikini covers are tethered to the red dot. The caps themselves fit very nicely and I love the little snap/click you get when putting them on.

Even though they’re alright to stay on the Raider during use (just twist the caps so that they lay literally anywhere that’s not in your line of sight), I didn’t like how that looked and just took them off…

Post epiphany…

… because that’s what you do with caps, right? You take them off when they’re in the way or useless. Wrong. So wrong…

Not with Swampfox Raider caps. I’ve been using, or should I say, not using the caps wrong this whole time. It’s not until the end of my official field-testing process that I realized I’m an idiot.

The epiphany...

SF Raider stackable bikini caps
Stackable bikini caps! Image by Tina Fa'apoi (Own Work) for Target Tamers

A huge advantage of these bikini covers is in the unique Lego-like stackable stowing design. When you’re using the Raider, snap the front cover onto the battery compartment. Then take the rear cover and snap that onto this stacking tower of caps you’ve got going on over here. It’s brilliant.

Why take them off and risk losing them which I do all the time? Stackable caps. Genius.

Limitations of the Swampfox Raider 1x20

No Knurling on Diopter

SF Raider adjustable diopter eyepiece
Image by Tina Fa'apoi (Own Work) for Target Tamers

There is a diopter (adjustable eyepiece) on the Swampfox Raider prism sight. A diopter is one of the primary benefits of a prism scope over a reflex sight as you can manipulate it to compensate for your vision – within reason that is.

I’m someone that usually needs to adjust the diopter, so it was vexing to me that this moving component didn’t have any knurling. The diopter is so smooth, and it doesn’t jut out very far, so I had a difficult time getting it to move from its default position.

Once I was able to move it from how it came from the factory, I set the diopter for my eyes. The actual mechanical movement was smooth and easy. However, prior to getting it to move, I was contemplating taking pliers to it.

Popular Questions About the Swampfox Raider 1x20

Is a Prism Scope Better Than a Red Dot?

In general, there are advantages and disadvantages of both reflex red dot sights and prism red dots. Prism sights can be better for those with astigmatism, those who desire reticle visibility without battery dependence, and prism sights generally have built-in magnification.
On the other hand, red dots can have superior battery life, are generally more compact, and are simpler and faster to use with unlimited eye relief and no magnification.

What’s Included with the Swampfox Raider?

The Swampfox Raider comes with bikini caps, 1.6” lower 1/3 co-witness mount, low-profile mount, and mounting tools that consists of a T25 wrench and an S-wing wrench (T10 ends and wings for the turret adjustments). Also included is a microfiber cloth, honeycomb kill flash, and CR2032 battery.

Does the Raider Micro Prism have Dual Illumination?

The Swampfox Raider Micro Prism red dot sight does not have dual illumination. The Raider is available with either red or green illumination. You must also choose which reticle option you want, either the BRC or the 6 MOA dot.

What is the Battery Life of the Swampfox Raider?

The listed battery life of the Swampfox Raider is 35,000 hours. This equates to approximately four years of continuous-on operation at probably a mid-level illumination intensity. The Shake N' Wake feature likely also contributes to the lengthy operating runtime.  

What is the Warranty on the Raider Red Dot?

Overall, the Swampfox Raider prism red dot is backed by a 50,000 Round Guarantee. The Guarantee is essentially a Limited Lifetime Warranty. It covers the housing and any manufacturing or material defects for a lifetime. The illumination system is only covered for 10 years.

Swampfox Raider: Industry Best 1x Prism Sight

swampfox raider mounted to AR
Image by Tina Fa'apoi (Own Work) for Target Tamers

With an etched reticle that’s extremely easy to see, no battery dependence, a height-over-bore BRC reticle for CQB, a diopter, and true 1x performance, the Swampfox Raider Micro Prism is unequivocally an industry-best 1x prism sight.

  • Eye relief – crazy good.
  • Reticle – HUGE!
  • Use with a magnifier – can do attitude.
  • No battery – no problem.
  • Need dioptric correction – you got it.
  • Astigmatism – shouldn’t be an issue.
  • (My personal favorite) stackable bikini caps – covered.

Seriously. How do you not get on board the Swampfox Raider band wagon?

As far as red dot sights go, the Raider is a solid competitor in the industry. As far as 1x prism red dots go, it definitely has the nads to be the leading prism champ.

Tina and the Swampfox Raider prism sight
Image by Tina Fa'apoi (Own Work) for Target Tamers

A huge thank you to Swampfox Optics for sending me this prism sight to field test. Please note, even though this product was provided by the manufacturer, all opinions expressed are my own and are no way influenced by any manufacturers.

Tina's digiscoping rig for scopes & red dots
Tina's digiscoping rig used for all firearm optics - NOT firearm mounted for digiscoping purposes in public places - Image by Tina Fa'apoi (Own Work) for Target Tamers

Further Reading

Photo of author

Tina Fa'apoi - Expert Optics Tester

Tina is a renowned expert in optics, having written hundreds of articles for Target Tamers over the past eight years and owning an extensive collection of optic's including binoculars, rifle scopes, red dots, spotting scopes and rangefinders. With years of experience in creating instructional videos and field-testing various optics, Tina brings a wealth of practical and theoretical knowledge to the field.

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